(From track report)
Trainer Richard Mandella declared morning line favorite Redattore out of the $250,000 Longacres Mile (gr. III) Saturday morning due to a fever. Sunday's race, the Northwest's richest and most prestigious, will still have a full field of 12 as Prodigious was added to the line-up from the also-eligible list.
It is the first time since 1992 that the one-mile race has drawn a full field. Drawing into the rail is Sabertooth, who got in at 113 pounds. A confirmed frontrunner, Sabertooth has finished second in his last three starts, including the Independence Day Handicap and Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup Handicap. Jockey Nathan Chaves will have the mount aboard Sabertooth for trainer Jim Penney. "He's shown good speed, but he's got to get away from the gate," said Penney. "We've been able to relax the horse in the last three races going longer. He's got to get a clear run and he's going to have to run fast." Breaking next to Sabertooth will be Californian invader San Nicolas, who schooled in the paddock after training hours on Friday. "The two hole is pretty good," said Chaco Contreras, assistant to trainer Jeff Bonde. "It's much better than the rail or the 12 hole. He's doing well." Bonde has named jockey Francisco Duran aboard San Nicolas for the Mile. Recent $80,000 claim Futural will break from the number three post. The original winner of the 2001 Hollywood Gold Cup is seeking his first win since his disqualification. "(Futural) has been training forwardly for this race," said trainer Steve Bryant, who has named hall of fame jockey Russell Baze in the irons. "I think that coming back to the distance will be perfect for him. He's coming into the race really good." Independence Day Handicap and Mt. Rainier Breeders' Cup Handicap winner Moonlight Meeting has drawn the number four post. Trainer Sharon Ross will team him up with jockey Ricky Frazier in hopes of keeping his 2002 Emerald Downs record perfect. "We're happy. It's a doable post," said owner Rick Beal. "He's never been better. He picked a heck of a great time to get there. He loves to train. He always has to be the first horse out in the morning even if he's just walking otherwise he throws a fit. He's pretty high strung. He has to have big windows on both sides of his stall. His best buddy is Radar Contact. They have been side by side for almost two years. I think that Moonlight Meeting wants more ground while a mile is the optimal distance for Radar Contact. He's a classic flat miler." Radar Contact was assigned the number ten post with jockey Aldaberto Lopez in the irons. Drawing into the No 5 post is Mysterious Cat, from the same connections of 1999 Mile winner Budroyale. Mysterious Cat finished fifth in his previous out against allowance company. It was his first time running in blinkers and trainer Ted West has elected to remove them for the Mile. "Mysterious Cat is an improving horse," said West. "Right now he's a notch below the best horses. I'm hoping that he will move up one level and join them. I'm very happy with our post." Emerald Downs' leading jockey Kevin Radke will have the mount aboard Mysterious Cat. The No. 6 post goes to California invader Komax, who will be ridden by jockey Luis Juaregui for trainer Kory Owens. Road Afleet comes into the race after losing a tough decision in the Governor's Handicap. Jockey Ben Russell will ride the Dan Markle trainee. "I think that he's in a pretty good spot, right in the middle," said Markle. Post position number seven belongs to likely claimer of the meeting Colterkind, who was claimed for $12,500 early in the meet and has improved every step of the way since, most recently winning the Governor's Handicap. "I think the post is alright," said trainer Roy Lumm, who has named jockey Sandi Gann in the saddle. "Sandi fits him awful well. She doesn't get too excited and that's what it takes." If Colterkind wins the Mile, Gann will become the first female rider too take Mile honors. The top handicap horse in Western Canada, Lord Nelson has drawn into the number nine hole. He has won two of three starts as a 5-yaer-old and boasts an impressive record of 8-5-1 from 17 lifetime outs. Jockey Frank Fuentes will ride him. "I don't think that he's in a bad spot," said trainer Dino Condelinois. "He has enough tactical speed to get a good position early. We'll just go into the first turn and see what happens." Drawing the 11 post is 2000 and 2001 divisional champion Jumron Won, who is coming into the race off a strong workout. Jockey Gallyn Mitchell will return aboard Jumron Won. The pair won the 2000 Gottstein together for trainer Bud Klokstad.